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Advice for Better Stress Management

Advice for Better Stress Management

Advice for contractorAdvice for Better Stress Management

The life of an entrepreneur is interesting and full of advantages. Otherwise, let's face it, you probably wouldn't have embarked on this rather perilous adventure.

The adrenaline that comes from working under pressure and carrying out your projects can be a great source of energy, but it won't protect you from all the ups and downs you will face. 

Between the overflowing agenda, the impacts of your decisions and the near-constant financial uncertainties, it's also your role to maintain healthy relationships with your customers, suppliers and employees. Each of these aspects can become a major source of stress.

When you started on your journey as a business owner, you surely came in knowing that your job would be to oversee every aspect of the company. However, many elements are beyond anyone's control.

Although you are passionate about your job and you knew what you were getting into, no one is immune to burnout. Fortunately, there are strategies and resources to help you and your employees deal with job stress and anxiety.

How to manage your stress as a renovation contractor

The risks and adventures involved in being a contractor represent a beautiful mix of everything that your body would, in other circumstances, try to run away from. 

Indeed, the human brain does not take too much pleasure in facing conflicting, uncomfortable and unforeseen circumstances. In fact, it mainly seeks immediate rewards by turning to the simplest options, even those that will circumvent any unpleasant emotions. 

However, as soon as you encounter a complex situation that affects its serenity, your body will produce a series of physical, cognitive and emotional reactions.

Therefore, stress is simply your body trying to protect you from danger by heightening your senses and releasing cortisol, a steroid hormone.

Considering that humans are still going about their business on Earth, logically, this biological reflex is beneficial to the survival of the species. Moreover, as an entrepreneur, you probably benefit more often than not by using stress to fuel your creativity, motivation and perseverance. 

Here are a few stressful situations that you have probably faced as the owner of a renovation company: 

  • A supplier isn't delivering materials on time

  • Your customer is venting his frustrations toward you

  • One of your employees is injured

  • Your banker reminds you of deadlines

  • Your spouse is asking you to be present more often at home despite the tasks you see piling up. 

All of this is normal... it's your daily bread.

However, if these forms of microaggressions occur repeatedly or too intensely, they will cause more harm than good. Stress can turn into anxiety and fatigue, irritability and loss of concentration; all points that will sooner or later significantly affect your business as well as your personal life, including the elements that revolve around it. It can also cause physical ailments that will make your daily life more complicated.

exhaustion_Strategies and resources for better stress management _RenoQuotes

Photo: Flickr

A few statistics about stress as a business owner

In the winter of 2019, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) National Office invited entrepreneurs, founders and business owners from coast to coast to complete an anonymous survey regarding their mental health. They unanimously agreed that being an entrepreneur means regularly subjecting yourself to high levels of stress.

The results showed that 46% of people felt mentally tired, even depressed, to the point that their work was affected. The main factors of these disorders came from topics such as money, work-family balance, decision-making, fear of failure and recruitment of qualified labour. Additionally, some groups were visibly more likely to develop stress, such as women and new entrepreneurs.

Despite everything, 78% admitted to avoiding dealing with health professionals to solve their problems related to mental health. Most preferred to rely on themselves for help, such as taking breaks or talking about their problems with friends. The reasons for this reluctance to consult varied from province to province, but some emerged more frequently:

  • lack of information about available resources;

  • few concrete initiatives implemented within the company;

  • the cost of mental health services;

  • peer judgment (reputation);

  • the heavy repercussions of absenteeism.

How to be better at managing stress as a renovation contractor

Some of the solutions depend on you

Taking a step back: By becoming aware of how you feel physically and psychologically, you will reduce the harmful effects of stress, because you will understand what generates it and how your body reacts to it. Even if you cannot solve all your problems or the deeper impacts accumulated in the past, you will be able to counter the stress surges before they get out of hand or become overwhelming.

For example, if you start to sweat or feel on edge, take a short break by going for a walk for a few minutes. If you are not able to analyze the situation from a new angle, this step back will at least have the effect of reducing your discomfort in the present moment and potentially avoid a cascade of unwanted events.

Delegating and accepting help: So you're a perfectionist and you like to have things done your way? Perfect. Now, you have to remind yourself that it is possible to offer high-value services without being overwhelmed by the fact that you need to control everything. Learn to delegate some of your work and mental load. After all, a successful company relies on teamwork and the pride of its members to succeed.

Likewise, it's important that you recognize your weak points and find the right partners to help you with those. If you don't understand numbers, an accountant will do a better job than you. Can't find the best way to complete a project? Perhaps someone has more experience with this specific issue and would have a comprehensive vision to share with you.

You can also rely on others indirectly. Ask yourself what someone you trust or respect would do in your position. Try to look at your problem from an outside perspective by imagining someone else telling you about the situation you are facing. 

man with eyes closed_Strategies and resources for better stress management _RenoQuotes

Healthy lifestyle: Although this solution seems to be the universal remedy of ​​our times, these are proven scientific facts; exercising regularly and eating lots of fruits and vegetables improves mood, tension, sleep and so on. These are all good habits and results that will help you better withstand tougher situations.

Meditating: Contrary to popular belief, there isn't one correct way to meditate or specific rules to follow. You can meditate in the middle of the bus on the way to work if you feel like it. No need to sit in a lotus position inside a dedicated room filled with cushions and relaxing music! Of course, if you want to create that space for relaxation, go ahead and do it. 

In the end, meditation consists of a moment of self-awareness and introspection focused on calming your mind and gaining perspective.

Stress management for entrepreneurs: solutions that are available

The Canadian government is increasingly trying to address the critical lack of support for business owners. For companies, the needs in terms of training and financing have always evolved, but the human aspect has more or less stayed the same. In addition, research related to mental health often takes into account the reality of employees and not so much the issues faced by the leaders.

Fortunately, some businesses specialize in mental health and stress management and they adapt their services for those that need them.

Training: Stress management training workshops can be offered online, in conference rooms or directly in your office. Certified specialists will be happy to help you deal with stress. This is what companies like Mp-Plus, Isarta, Energia and Formax offer, to name a few. Normally, a training session lasts between 2 hours and 2 days, depending on the program chosen.

This type of activity generally includes exercises to assess your level of stress, individual solutions, tips for recognizing warning signs and determining when to act, notes to help yourself and your team, and so on. The goal is to raise awareness and properly equip business owners to be able to intervene and manage mentally, physically and emotionally problematic situations.

It is possible to choose more specific training programs as well as personalized workshops dealing with communication, time management, labour selection, etc.

Some of these companies also offer related services that are always useful in the long term, such as corporate games (commonly called team building), or even targeted support (to support and advise you at a specific time in your career).

Visual and auditory resources: Many pragmatic and methodological books that move away from the slightly more esoteric concepts that are widespread on the market are available in bookstores, such as "Mindfulness for Stress Management: 50 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Cultivate Calmness", by Dr. Robert Schachter.

Likewise, several mobile apps will teach you the basics of mindfulness, yoga, or meditation.

EAP: Employee assistance programs could be useful not only for you but to offer support and comfort to your workmates. 

Often available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, telephone hotlines (or online services) will refer you to the health care experts who will be best suited to your needs. 

For example, Telus Health offers this type of program; it would also be worth asking your insurer or turning to private companies to understand the availability and terms and conditions related to your field of work.

Body care treatments: What better way to relax than with a nice massage given directly at your place of work, at the office or on the construction site! Indeed, mobile massages are a thing and a good number of massage therapists offer this type of service.

No need to undress or book long sessions; most of the time, these are short moments of relaxation administered on a chair designed for this purpose.

Now's the time for you to take charge of your physical and mental health! Don't wait until it's too late and you are fully burnt out. 

massage_Strategies and resources for better stress management _RenoQuotes

Photo: Flickr

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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